Meet the 2017 ASHA Convention Co-Chairs This year’s chairs share how the convention’s theme (“Focus on the Big Picture”) relates to their own careers. Features
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Features  |   August 01, 2017
Meet the 2017 ASHA Convention Co-Chairs
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ASHA News & Member Stories / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Features
Features   |   August 01, 2017
Meet the 2017 ASHA Convention Co-Chairs
The ASHA Leader, August 2017, Vol. 22, 68-69. doi:10.1044/leader.ACC1.22082017.68
The ASHA Leader, August 2017, Vol. 22, 68-69. doi:10.1044/leader.ACC1.22082017.68
Anita Vereb, PhD, CCC-A
Pediatric audiologist, Michigan Medicine, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
What does looking at the “big picture” in communication sciences and disorders mean to you?
One way this year’s convention theme, “Focus on the Big Picture,” resonates with me professionally is partly due to my roles as an audiologist at a large medical center and educational audiology consultant. I have experienced the benefits of improved communication and collaboration among families of children with hearing loss, their medical providers and their educational providers. Identifying a hearing loss and then providing timely and appropriate intervention and supports to enable children to reach their maximum potential truly takes a team approach. To be successful as a team means making a concerted effort to build trusting relationships, which is no small feat. So at times, I find myself having to take a step back and look at the “bigger picture” and consider others’ perspectives to be an effective team member. Ultimately, the team’s goal is to improve outcomes for children with hearing loss and each member plays an important supporting role, with the child taking the lead.
What “big picture” issue has captured your attention—and why?
One key “big picture” issue that has captured my attention is ASHA’s Strategic Objective #2, to advance interprofessional education and interprofessional practice (IPE/IPP). This issue relates to the entire ASHA membership, including students, speech, language and hearing scientists, audiologists, speech-language pathologists and other related service providers. ASHA members are uniquely qualified as specialists on interprofessional teams contributing to improved health and educational outcomes for people with communication disorders. It is our responsibility as ASHA members to advocate for the value of our profession and reach beyond our clinic, lab or classroom walls in providing high-quality, highly collaborative education, research and practice to improve outcomes for the people and families we serve.
Part of the “big picture” is taking care of yourself. What do you do to energize and reinvigorate yourself?
Spending time outdoors by myself or with family and friends is what energizes and reinvigorates me. I prefer being outside, even if that means snowshoeing with friends in 20-degree northern Michigan or biking muddy back-country roads after a rainstorm, or kayaking full speed down the Huron River as the sun is starting to set. To me, there is something peaceful and rejuvenating in all that nature has to offer.
What is your favorite convention memory?
Some of my favorite memories are from attending the annual ASHA Awards Ceremony held on Friday night of convention. Honoring colleagues and learning more about their professional accomplishments, I find personally motivating and inspirational. In addition, the Annie Glenn Award is given each year recognizing a person or organization who makes a positive impact on those with communication disorders. I consider myself fortunate to have been in the audience to watch and listen to Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, Bill and Willie Geist, and Annie Glenn herself, as they received the “Annie.”
What is your all-time favorite movie?
“A River Runs Through It”
Mary Casper, MA, CCC-SLP
Corporate Rehabilitation Consultant, HCR ManorCare
What does looking at the “big picture” in communication sciences and disorders mean to you?
For me, focusing on the big picture relates to working with my patients to achieve the best possible outcome. I have to listen carefully and consider the person’s priorities in developing an effective treatment plan. Sometimes the most important piece of information might not be the most obvious.
What “big picture” issue has captured your attention—and why?
ASHA’s Strategic Objective #4 (“Enhance service delivery across the continuum of care to increase value and access to services”) strongly resonates with me. I work in a health care setting where reimbursement for speech-language pathology services is at risk. As professionals, we have to commit ourselves to lifelong learning and equip ourselves to establish the value of our services.
Part of the “big picture” is taking care of yourself. What do you do to energize and reinvigorate yourself?
Traveling, reading a good book, spending time with my kids, hanging around with my gigantic dog Clifford … oh, and I do appreciate a well-done Ashiatsu massage.
What is your favorite convention memory?
Certainly meeting Annie and John Glenn stands out for me. Hearing them tell their story is completely inspiring. Beyond that, I did have the opportunity to meet John Travolta in the shoe department at Nieman Marcus in Boston. That was more thrilling than crossing paths with Jerry Springer in the San Antonio airport.
What is your all-time favorite movie?
“West Side Story”
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August 2017
Volume 22, Issue 8